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Ford Names Renault Executive Franck Louis-Victor to Lead New Business Team

Renault veteran Louis-Victor will "help Ford nurture new ideas through the start-up phase, with the best opportunities launched on their own or integrated into our business units", the carmaker said.

Ford Motor Co. F said Monday that Franck Louis-Victor, an automotive industry veteran and former Renault executive, will lead the carmaker's new business platform team.

Louis-Victor, who left Renault as head of the French giant's new business development chief and global head of connected vehicles, will oversee the group's Ford X incubator and its Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility business, which is currently being run by Scott Griffith, who will report to Louis-Victor. 

The appointment comes as Ford makes its largest push ever into the market for electrified and autonomous vehicles, pledging last month to boost investments by at least $30 billion over the next four years. Ford also said it would deliver an 8% adjusted profit margin -- a long held goal for the carmaker -- by 2023.

"We're accelerating development of disruptive technologies and focusing on being a leader in areas that enhance always- on relationships with customers and give them increasing freedom of movement," said Ford CEO Jim Farley. "Franck's got great experience that will help his team and Ford nurture new ideas through the start-up phase, with the best opportunities launched on their own or integrated into our business units."  

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Ford shares were marked 1.7% higher in early trading Monday to change hands at $14.77 each. 

Last week, Ford said that its current-quarter earnings will exceed forecasts even as it cautioned on the uncertainty linked to a global shortage in semiconductor supplies.

Ford said second-quarter earnings will "surpass expectations and be significantly better than a year ago", thanks in part to lower-than-expected costs and "favorable market factors". Net income, Ford said, will be "substantially lower than a year ago", however, owing to a $3.5 billion gain that was linked to its investment in Argo AI. 

Earlier this month, JPMorgan analyst Ryan Brinkman lifted his price target on Ford by $2, to $18 per share -- the highest on Wall Street -- while holding his 'overweight' rating in place, after Ford said it will boost investment in EVs to at least $30 billion by 2025, and vowed to have 40% of its fleet fully electric within the next decade. 

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